Soo Jr. Greyhounds of the Great North Under 18 Hockey League have chosen their captain and assistant captains for the 2023-2024 season.
Second year forward Griffen Albert has been named team captain. Assistant captains are defenseman Samuel Gravel and forwards Lucas DiBerardino, Coulson Bell and Sebastian dos Reis. All are veterans of the Great North with the exception of dos Reis, who is a rookie, albeit an older one with a 2006 birth date.
Albert, Gravel and DiBerardino all played for the Jr. Greyhounds in 2022-2023 while Bell left home to skate for the rival Sudbury Under 16 Nickel Capitals. dos Reis played at the AA U18 level in ’22-23.
Albert, DiBerardino and Bell all have 2007 birth dates while Gravel, like dos Reis, was born in 2006.
Albert, DiBerardino, Bell and Gravel represent four of just six players on the ’23-24 edition of the Jr. Greyhounds who have prior experience in the Great North. The others are goalies A.J. Borrelli and Nick Marson. Borrelli has a 2006 birth date while Marson was born in 2007. Both played in Sudbury in ’22-23, Borrelli with the U18 Nickel Capitals and Marson with the U16 Nickel Capitals.
Coached by first year bench boss Sean Gagnon, the Jr. Hounds do not begin ’23-24 regular season play in the Great North until October 20. But they have plenty of high end game action ahead of that with matches against the cross-border Soo Indians of the USA Under 18 Tier 1 Hockey Federation League as well as scheduled participation in two major showcase events — the Toronto Titans Tournament and the Detroit Hockeytown Tournament.
It is a new beginning for the Jr. Hounds of the Great North with the 50-year old Gagnon at the helm. As a player, Gagnon was a key member of the 1993 Memorial Cup champion Soo Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League — an overachieving defensemen who went on to a lengthy pro career that included time in the National Hockey League.